Money, Marriage & Communication
November 23, 2015
Money affects all areas of an individual’s life. Issues with money are still a leading factor in divorce. The following tips are essential to every marriage and every budget:
- If you're not working together, you're working against each other.
Creditcards.com conducted an eye opening poll that revealed, "One in 5 Americans in a relationship say they have spent $500 or more and not told their partner, and 6 percent maintain secret accounts or credit cards." The key word there is 'secret.' There is no room for secrets in any aspect of your marriage. Secrets directly lead to a lack of trust. Think of trust in your marriage as the foundation of a house. Regardless of what top-of-the-line finishes you have, if it was built on an unstable foundation, it will surely crumble.
- What's your Money Personality?
Moneyharmony.com offers a free quiz to know your (and your spouses) money personality. This breaks it down even further than just a spender or a saver. Not only does this quiz break the ice to open the conversation about finances but it allows you to learn more about your partner. This is an essential step in teamwork. You must know his/her strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as they pertain to finances. How does your spouse perceive money, its value and its worth? What is it that money provides your spouse? Security, confidence, excitement, status, etc.? If you know what drives each other, you'll be more inclined to make sure everyone's needs are met.
- Get Synced!
It's easy to forget to take a purchase off the checkbook at the end of the day and it's even easier to get out of sync with your spouse’s purchases during a busy work week. There are many apps out there that allow you to sync your phone with your partner’s phone, to keep track of purchases. I recommend 'Good Budget' especially if you are a fan of the envelope method, but not so much of carrying around cash.
- Take Charge Together!
If money is a leading factor in the climbing divorce rates, how do you make sure your marriage does not become a statistic? The answer is by mutually taking charge! When you work together, you either fail together or you succeed together. As a result, there will not be one person to blame or one person to praise. By implementing no.3 above, by mutually paying bills and/or creating monthly budgets, and by creating financial goals, you'll be working together. Each person will be individually responsible. This will allow each person to have a part in the day in, day out part of the budget. If both people are in control, there is no power struggle and no resentment. When you each have an active role in the household finances, it is a sure fire way to not only boost, but propel your marriage into the future.
Guest Contributor: Mandi Furness, AFC®